The Punch

Arteta backs Saka to ignore racist taunts

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ARSENAL manager Mikel Arteta says Bukayo Saka’s “strong character” will help him ignore the racist abuse he suffered after England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

Saka endured vile racist taunts on social media after missing the penalty that sealed Italy’s 3-2 shoot-out victory against England in Sunday’s final at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho also received abusive messages after failing to convert their penalties.

But Arteta has spoken to Saka since the abuse and is confident the 19-year-old will not be affected.

“Yes, I have. We all have, I think, spoken to him, sent messages,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

“He will be fine. He is such a strong character.

“He has received a lot of love and support from world football, not only with Arsenal but the national team and all the English fans because he doesn’t deserve anything like he has been through.”

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